Monkey's Birth Story

Quite strangely, I went into labor at the same time as Munchkin's - 2 days early at 3:30am! Though, the similarities ended there! I let my husband and son sleep, and started calling my mother to notify her so she could drive here in time to watch my son. Unable to sleep, I decided to get out of bed and bake some muffins for breakfast and make sure I had all my ducks in a row so to speak. I was having contractions the whole time, but they were short - maybe 30seconds; so, I just paused to breathe, visualize and such. Eventually the boys got up and grandma arrived. I notified my doctor's office when contractions were 5min apart (about 9am) but my husband had some work he needed to do so I took a bath to slow things down. Unfortunately, they slowed too much (to about 7min apart). Then, around noon I posted to Facebook that I was feeling discouraged and thinking it was going to be another long labor. I snapped one last picture of my pregnant belly and tried to get things going again by bouncing on the exercise ball. BAD idea - way too painful. So I tried to rest in bed on my side. No luck. 

Then, very soon after I got dressed, contractions jumped to just 4min apart, lasting 60sec but then after just 10seconds, ANOTHER 60second contraction would start! It was WEIRD, and they became more intense as well - to the point I had to vocalize to get through them! As soon as I could talk, I told hubby he needed to finish up because we needed to leave ASAP! By the time we got out the door, I could barely support myself through the contractions, but was managing the pain pretty well using the hypno-birth breathing exercises, and meditations of acceptance, surrender, allowance, and so on. However, when it came to actually getting IN the van...this proved difficult. I couldn't IMAGINE sitting down, knowing the pain would be intolerable. So, in the 2minutes I had between contractions, I climbed in the seat backwards and held onto the headrest. Munchkin, who was watching all this from his carseat, quickly scolded me for not wearing my seatbelt; so, after the next contraction (which was stronger and louder now that I was almost squatting) I somehow got the seatbelt around my huge body and reassured him I was 'safe.' (After that, he scarcely said a word for the rest of the 25minute drive!) For the first part of the drive, I was still coherent enough to yell at my husband for his driving. For the later half, I had to hold my hypno-birth type of recordings to my ear to keep it together as not to scare my son!

We arrived at about 1:25pm. Naturally, I refused (via a head-shake) all FOUR wheelchairs that were offered to me, even though I was having to put all my weight on my husband during contractions. I simply had NO strength left in my legs from mostly being on my feet since 3:30am. Slowly, but loudly I made my way to the Labor/Delivery floor as the contractions seemed to be coming one on top of another by then. I do remember two strange things at this point: First, MANY people randomly asked my husband if it was my first birth. Later, the nurse told me this was because that gives them an indication of how much time they have to work with. And 2)I remember my husband requesting they hold the elevator for us, only to walk up to it being FULL, and I said "Huh-ah...Are you kidding!?" I'm not laboring in there with all those people! LOL

When in the LD room I immediately started undressing (!), had a contraction, then climbed onto the bed backward, essentially kneeling. At this point while putting on the fetal monitors, my L/D nurse figured out I was in back-labor and suggested counter-pressure on my sacrum. It SAVED me! Although, my husband was the only one strong enough to apply enough pressure to make a difference!! Meanwhile, a doctor entered, introducing himself (I still don't know his name, but later found out he was a resident) and when he made his way to my side, I remember hearing him say to me DURING a contraction, "Okay, Ma'am. We'll just get you your epidural and break your water, and you'll have your ba--" I responded the only way I could: non-verbally...bulging my eyes and vigorously shaking my head! When I could talk again, I said "No. Not what...I want! Birthplan...Honey, birthplan," as I pointed to my bag. When handed the big folder of papers, the doctor's eyes widened at the size. (No worries! In reality, he only needed to read the first few bullet points of the first page!) He skimmed it, and said no problem, but added, "First things first, we need to check how dilated you are." I thought, "Oh yeah. Of course," then proceeded to plead with him to lie on my side, insisting with something like "I can't do it. I just CANNOT lie on my back. Please don't make me lie on my back." He consented, and I heard him say I was 7CM!!!! A HUGE wave of endorphins rushed over me, because although I felt the urge to push while kneeling in the van and lobby, I didn't want to get my hopes up for anything more than 4CM. So, the next choice was whether to break the waters or not. And I was just about to decide when I felt a contraction coming on, and had an inkling it was going to break anyway. It DID! The next few contractions brought with them an urge to bear down, so he did another awkward cervical check, and...9 1/2CM! ("Yay!!") A few more contractions and my body was pushing the baby for me. I recall saying "Wooooooww" through the contractions because it was such an overwhelming physical sensation :-) I got the OK to bear-down, and several pushes (on my part) later, Monkey was here! I almost COULDN'T believe it. I mean, in my mind we had *just* arrived to the hospital, afterall, and I didn't even have an IV in! 

When I saw him for the first time, my eyes went straight to his HAIR, then his face and body. He just had so much hair! One of the highlights of the whole thing, was that my friend Allison arrived just in time for his birth, and stayed until I was able to settle into my room. GaGa brought Munchkin to the hospital that night to meet his brother for the first time :-) 

It was all so powerful, so wonderful - almost overwhelming.

How was it different?
I couldn't possibly list them all, but the major differences were: 
1) It was a third as long! (Yay!!!)
2) It was intervention-less. In part, it was because there was simply no time for anything to be done, not even a simple HepLock, nor a more complicated epidural, nor breaking the waters early (like previous birth), and so on. But also, I was more mentally prepared and resolved about it this time; they would've had to work really hard to convince me the risks outweighed any benefit. 
3) Recovery from the tear was a breeze compared to the first time around.   
4) It was MUCH more physically demanding: From being on my feet, gripping the bed's side-bars, and the strength of the contractions, etc. (Honestly, I wish I was more prepared; my abs and thighs were literally fatigued and 'shaky' for weeks.)
5) It was also more 'positive' generally speaking in that the natural endorphins were stronger and/or more plentiful this time and lasted for days! Mentally, I was sharp and alert postpartum, and morale was actually high!  

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear that you had a positive experience. :) Your little one is so stinking adorable! I'm sure big brother is helping out too. Congratulations to you and your family!